Lavender Macarons Recipe
Homemade macarons are the gift that says, "you are worth hours in the kitchen for these few beautiful, one-bite cookies." And homemade macarons flavored with garden ingredients double that sentiment.
At Milk & Honey in Chattanooga, Tennessee, chef/owner Taylor Monen makes lavender and raspberry buttercream macarons with lavender she grows in her home garden. "Lavender is one of my favorite aromatic flavors to incorporate into desserts and it blends nicely with many fresh fruits for different applications," she says. "We also use it in lavender lemon shortbread cookies, lavender-infused local honey for our lavender and honey latte and a variety of lavender-flavored homemade gelatos."
Monen says the most important ingredient in any macaron is confidence. "Don't over-think it," she says. "I think there is a common misconception that making macarons is very secretive and difficult, but it is really quite simple once you master a few techniques."
Note: Monen says it's very important to weigh all ingredients—she measures hers in grams for consistency and accuracy—and let them sit in clean, separate containers at room temperature for at least an hour before proceeding with the recipe.
And don't forget the ribbon. These cover model cookies are so adorable; all they need is a little bow on top.
Milk & Honey’s Lavender & Raspberry Buttercream Macarons
- 300g almond flour
- 300g powdered sugar
- 220g egg whites - split into 2 containers of 110g each*
- 300g sugar
- 75g water
- 1.5g (1 tablespoon) food grade dried lavender - ground in a spice grinder
*It is also best to use aged/old egg whites. You can separate egg whites from yolks and store them in a container with a tight fitting lid in your refrigerator for 2 to 3 days before using them.
Place the almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Set aside.
OPTIONAL: Take 1 container of egg white and add a small amount of powdered food coloring (we used purple) and stir until dissolved. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Set aside.
Place the 110g of egg white without the color in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Turn to medium low speed and let run while you complete the next step.
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Heat mixture on medium without stirring until it reaches 244 degrees F. Immediately remove from heat. Allow all the bubbles in the mixture to disappear. This should only take a couple of seconds.
Increase the speed of the mixer to high and slowly drizzle the sugar and water mixture into the egg whites. Once all has been added, let the mixer continue to run on high until the meringue is glossy, has soft peaks and the outside of the bowl feels room temperature. Very carefully transfer meringue into a clean metal bowl and set aside.
Clean and dry the mixer bowl immediately, add the colored egg whites and the almond flour and sugar mixture and return to the stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Run mixer on stir speed until the colored egg white has incorporated into the almond flour and powdered sugar mixture. Stop the mixer and add 1/3 of the meringue. Mix on low until it is mostly mixed, stop the mixer and scrape the bowl down. Add the 2nd 1/3 of the meringue. Mix on low until it is mostly mixed, stop the mixer and scrape the bowl down. Remove the mixer bowl from the mixer and add the final 1/3 of the meringue. Using a silicone spatula, fold the meringue mixture into the batter and continue folding and lifting some of the batter and allowing it to fall off of the spatula until it does not fall in clumps but rather in a ribbon that forms a "V" shape when it finally breaks. This is when you know that batter is ready. Check the structure of the batter often because you do not want it to over mix.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
When batter is ready, transfer it to a piping bag with a 9mm round tip and pipe 1" to 1.5" circles on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet spacing them about 2" apart. Once you have filled the sheet, lightly bang your palm on the bottom of the pan a few times to release any air bubbles that have formed in the cookies.
Place the pans into the preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes. Open the oven door to release some steam and rotate the pans—this will help them bake evenly. Bake for another 10 to 14 minutes or until cookies have a hard outer shell and are just barely underdone in the center. Let cool and fill to make little sandwiches with 2 cookies filled with raspberry buttercream. Will keep for 3 to 5 days.
- 375g high-quality raspberry preserves (homemade if possible)
- 220g sugar
- 40g water
- 100g egg white
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 3/4 pound good quality unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 10g vanilla extract
In a blender, puree the raspberry preserves and set aside.
Put sugar and water in a small saucepan. Clip a candy thermometer to the side and simmer until mixture reaches 244 degrees.
While that is simmering on stove, combine egg whites and cream of tartar in bowl of electric mixer with whisk attachment and beat at medium high speed until fluffy.
As soon as sugar mixture has come to 244 degrees, immediately remove from stove and slowly drizzle into mixer while continuing to beat at medium high speed. Once all the sugar mixture has been added, continue to beat at medium high speed until the mixture cools down to room temperature.
Once it has cooled to room temperature, add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time while beating at medium speed. Continue adding and beating until all butter has been added. Turn speed up to high and beat until icing is smooth and thick. Add vanilla and pureed raspberry preserves and beat until just combined.
OPTIONAL: Add a few drops of red and blue food coloring if you like the filling to look purpler for presentation.
Use buttercream immediately or you can store this in the fridge for up to 1 week. When you are ready to use, remove from fridge and let sit at room temp for 1 hour. Transfer to a mixer and beat with paddle attachment until smooth and spreadable.